- A down payment – it depends on what you can afford and what is advised (or even required in some cases) but usually you’re looking at about 20%.
- Inspection costs – before signing that deposit check, it’s a good idea to pay the few hundred dollars it typically costs to ensure the home is in good condition and find out if there are any serious issues upfront.
- Closing costs – these cover the transfer of the legal title of the property from one party to another as well as appraiser and lender expenses, often coming in at around 2-5% of the total purchase price of the home.
- Property insurance and private mortgage insurance (PMI) – the former protects you as the homeowner from potential disasters such as a fire or theft; the latter protects the mortgage lender in the event you default on the mortgage and is typically required if more than 80% of the home purchase price is covered by the mortgage.
- Repayment of any prepaid taxes or homeowners association (HOA) dues already paid by the seller of the home.
- Life insurance – a life insurance policy can help protect your family if the breadwinner is no longer there to cover ongoing mortgage payments. It’s hard to think about, but it’s important to consider.
We also recommend setting up an emergency savings account with at least six months of expenses – if you need to do any sudden but expensive repairs like replace a water heater or fix a roof leak, you won’t be pulling from your day-to-day budget.
Arrange your move
- Hire movers – it can be a little too easy to overpay for movers, so make sure to get quotes from a few options before picking one. Referrals from friends can often be the best bet.
- Start packing non-essentials to get ahead – your future self will thank you when you’re not trying to figure out how to safely pack forgotten oversized serving plates or a closet full of winter coats the night before the movers come.
- Hire a locksmith to install new locks in your new home ahead of your arrival.
- Settle any outstanding bills related to your current property.
- Confirm that your utilities and property insurance are in place for day one at your new home.
Who to tell
With the flurry of activity around buying and moving into your new home, it can be easy to forget – but certain people need to know where you’re headed! Below is a list of contacts to update with your new address:
- Telephone (mobile and or landline)
- Post office for mail forwarding
- Cable/satellite and internet service providers
- Credit card companies
- Your employer
- Insurance companies – that’s home, auto, life – the whole gamut!
- Pension companies
- Friends and relatives
- Sports club or gym
Once you've moved in
- Mortgage payments
- Property insurance
- Property taxes in your State
- Any home improvements you’ve planned